V. I. Lenin

Draft Decisions And Directives On Co-Operatives[94][1]

Written: 26 January, 1920
First Published: First published in the Fourth (Russian) Edition of the Collected Works; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 307-308
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Tomorrow at the Council of People’s Commissars table a draft decree, not on a merger for the co-operatives but on the completion of the unification of all types of co-operative, rewriting 0. J. Schmidt’s proposal so that a most cautious attitude is displayed to local producers’ co-operatives, and the Council of Co-operative Congresses is abolished in the shortest period.


(α) More attention to be paid to the needs of the working people and not only of the affluent and kulak section. Change the formula of the preamble in this spirit.

(β) More extensive aid for producers’ co-operatives with local initiative specially developed, and improved methods of farming and industry encouraged.

(γ) Concrete steps by the new Central Co-operative Society for the unification of producers’ co-operatives to be carried out with the approval of the Council of People’s Commissars.

(a) Instruct Tsyurupa and Lezhava to table a draft decision at the Council of People’s Commissars (without deciding in advance whether it is to be published) formulating more precise, systematic and concrete rules for the participation of co-operatives in the procurement of various foodstuffs, and for the ways and forms, terms and methods by which this participation is to be effected.

(b) Instruct the Central Statistical Board, in agreement with the Central Union of Consumers’ Societies, the People’s Food Commissariat and the Supreme Economic Council, to draw up by ... a programme of sample surveys of the methods and results of food procurement in the localities with and without the participation of the co-operatives

The programme to be tabled at the Council of People’s Commissars for approval and for the actual appointment of the survey.

Think about whether a questionnaire can be used, and if it can, submit a brief draft of it to the Council of People’s Commissars.

Purpose of the survey: the detailed analysis of facts that may be few but are typical and properly verified of how products were gathered, which products and in what quantities, how they were delivered, guarded and transported, over what distance, etc. Number of cases of coercion, and what sort of coercion. Supply of goods in exchange, what sort, and what quantities. The percentage of compulsory deliveries and surpluses obtained and in what period. The participation of various groups of peasants in the delivery of grain (and in receiving goods, if they were available).


[1] These documents were written by Lenin during the conference on co-operatives held on January 26, 1920. They formed the basis of the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of January 27, 1920 on “The Unification of All Types of Co-operative Organisations”.

The decree envisaged the fusion of the credit and savings co-operatives, their district, gubernia and regional societies, with consumers’ co-operatives and their societies. The All-Russia Central Board of Agricultural, Trades and Other Co-operative Societies merged with the Central Union of Consumers’ Societies (Tsentrosoyuz) as its affiliated sections. The Chief Committee for Co-operatives set up at the People’s Commissariat of Food was to supervise all activities. On the same day, January 27, 1920, the Council of People’s Commissars issued a decree on “The Abolition of Councils of Cooperative Congresses” in view of the merger of all-Russia co-operative centres with the Tsentrosoyuz and the amalgamation of the credit and consumers’ co-operatives; the functions and property of the all-Russia and gnberaia councils of co-operative congresses were transferred to the Tsentrosoyuz and its branches.